WEG Automation Africa supplies a containerized substation solution to DRDGOLD’s new Far West Gold Recoveries Project. (Photo: WEG Automation Africa)

WEG Automation Africa and WEG Transformers Africa, part of the Zest WEG Group, reported it assisted with the commissioning of a containerized substation and control room solution at DRDGOLD’s new Far West Gold Recoveries Project Phase 1 tailings site. The solution was reportedly fast-tracked with the start date and commissioning separated by only roughly four months.

The scope of the project included a medium-voltage substation, a low-voltage substation, and a control room, leadership at WEG reported. “This was accommodated within a double-container structure, which also included a room to house all the free-standing variable-speed drives (VSDs) and uninterruptible power supplies,” said Tyrone Willemse, business development manager, projects and contracts, WEG Automation Africa.

The electrical portion was supplied ahead of the mechanical aspects, WEG reported.

The container was mounted on 2.5-meter (m) pillars on a concrete plinth. Desired heat losses were factored into the design, WEG reported. The installation is fitted with a comprehensive fire-detection system.

Willemse said one goal of the design was to reduce the footprint of the substation. Using free-standing VSDs allowed this. “Had the VSDs configuration been a conventional design, these units would have been incorporated in panels and we would have needed an additional container,” he said.

Motor Control Centers (MMC) were also provided. The MCC for the thickener is fed by two 1,600-kilovolt-amp (kVA) transformers. The tailings MCC is fed by one 1,600-kVA transformer.

The MCCs incorporate WEG air-circuit breakers to facilitate a 50-kA fault level, WEG-molded case circuit breakers, WEG contactors, WEG fast-acting high-rapid fuses, and WEG motor-protection relays.

WEG W22 LV electric motors were selected to drive the tailings facility pumps.

Fabrication of all MCCs and the adaptations to the container were done by WEG Automation Africa at its facilities in Robertsham, Johannesburg and Heidelberg.

WEG Automation Africa is formerly known as Shaw Controls.